Mobile traffic: not as important for us …yet

How are people accessing your website? I read a lot about mobile device visits being over 50% for many sites nowadays, but that’s not going to be the case for everybody. So I thought I’d take a look at three of our clients to see what the trends are. These are real examples.

Example 1:
Industrial Components Supplier
UK-focused customer base, site has strong background content accessed from around the world.
April 2016 – March 2017: 83% desktop, 14% mobile, 3% tablet
April 2017 – March 2018: 79% desktop, 18% mobile, 2% tablet
April 2018 – March 2019: 78% desktop, 19% mobile, 3% tablet

Example 2:
Machinery Supplier
UK-focused customer base, site is highly product-oriented.
April 2016 – March 2017: 75% desktop, 17% mobile, 8% tablet
April 2017 – March 2018: 71% desktop, 20% mobile, 9% tablet
April 2018 – March 2019: 70% desktop, 23% mobile, 6% tablet

Example 3:
Biotech Laboratory Supplier
Worldwide customer base, site is product-oriented.
April 2016 – March 2017: 83% desktop, 16% mobile, 2% tablet
April 2017 – March 2018: 77% desktop, 21% mobile, 2% tablet
April 2018 – March 2019: 85% desktop, 14% mobile, 2% tablet

You’ll see trends, but in all these examples the traffic is still dominated by desktop users. This is why, if your site has similar figures (see Audience > Mobile > Overview in Google Analytics), you need to be careful about much of the material you read online. It may well have been written with quite different websites in mind. Mobile presentation is important, not least because Google is starting to take that more into account, but it’s the majority of customers whose needs you need to address first.

You also need to remember this when talking to third-party service providers such as website designers and even agencies like our own. One of our clients was approached by a salesperson recently whose pitch insisted that the client should now concentrate its site development and promotion on mobile devices, “because the data says that’s where all the activity is.” This is a perfectly good strategy for website design, although the wrong reasoning. But things will have to change a lot before we change the priority for our clients’ advertising from desktop to mobile.